LOS ANGELES (CN) – Napster shareholders say the company sold itself too cheaply to Best Buy, for an unfair $2.65 a share, or $121 million. The Internet file-sharing company has been through a series of legal challenges since Shawn Fanning, then a college student, founded it in 1999.
The 9th Circuit ordered Fanning to shut down Napster’s file-sharing program in 2001, after lawsuits from Metallica and Madonna, among others. Users then plugged into a central database to download music, which gave the court something to shut down.
Current peer-to-peer file sharing programs are harder for courts and angry musicians to track.
Napster reopened, with much less success, as a paid subscription service in 2002. The company planned to use subscription fees to pay off its $36 million copyright infringement settlement. Later that year it filed for bankruptcy. German media giant Bertelsmann bought the company for a reported $85 million.Napster is based in Los Angeles. David Bower with Harrington Foxx Dubrow Canter represents the shareholders in Superior Court